Monday, 12 October 2009

GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury, Tim Hamilton


The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books. The classic novel of a post-literate future, 'Fahrenheit 451' stands alongside Orwell's '1984' and Huxley's 'Brave New World' as a prophetic account of Western civilization's enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity. Now newly reimagined by gifted artist Tim Hamilton who has previously worked on illustrations for several high profile publications including The New York Times and Puffin's graphic novelization of Treasure Island. Bradbury's powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which over fifty years from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.


As a huge fan of Ray Bradbury’s imaginings from his TV show, I’ve read a number of his short stories as they’ve been released in their perspective omnibuses and what makes him better than a lot of other authors is the pure durability of his writing. So when it was announced that an officially approved graphic novel of perhaps Ray’s best know books was out I just had to take a peak.

What is generally the biggest problems with adaptations of books into the graphic novel format is that large chunks have to be cut so that the storyline comes across but at the loss of the greater expanse of the tale that won it fans the world over originally. With this offering its beautifully constructed, the artwork vivid but perhaps best of all there’s no loss to the reader due to plot cute. Its obvious why this got approval and a definite book to add to the ultimate Sci-Fi Collection.

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